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Breathe easy

Selecting the right respirator is a breeze

Workplace safety and personal protection experts Sperian Protection has a wide range of respiratory solutions designed for worker comfort and ease of use.

Their range includes disposable respirators, re-useable respirators, SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus), PAPR (powered air purifying respirators) and SAR (supplied air
respirators).

But with so many options available how do you know which respiratory product is right for you?

Harmful substances may be in the form of dusts, mists, fumes, gases, vapours, or combinations of these.

Many important factors need to be considered before choosing the most suitable respirator.

Choosing the correct respirator, according to Sperian Protection, is as easy as 1-2-3-4.

  1. Ensure there is sufficient oxygen present If oxygen levels are below 19.5 per cent the atmosphere is considered to be oxygen deficient.

    This could occur in applications such as confined space work and fire fighting. When working in an oxygen deficient atmosphere always ensure an SCBA is used such as the Fenzy Xpro or Fenzy Aeris.

  2. Determine the physical and chemical properties of the contaminant.

    This can be ascertained from the most current Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the substance concerned, or from other appropriate reference material.

  3. Determine the concentration of the contaminant in your workplace environment

    Lower capacity respirators are only designed to work in concentrations up to a certain level and you may need to use a different respirator depending on the concentration present.

  4. Assess the working conditions and exposure standards of the contaminant you are working with

    You need to know the workplace exposure standard for the contaminant. This can be found by consulting Worksafe Australia Exposure Standards for Atmospheric Contaminants in the Occupational Environment or OSH Workplace Exposure Standards and Biological Exposure Indices for NZ.

For example, if you are working in an environment where you are exposed to zinc oxide fume, under Australian Standards, the TWA (Time Weighted Average – exposure over an 8 hour period) is 5ppm. Suitable protection would be a P2 disposable respirator.

If you measured the concentration levels and found them to be greater than 5ppm, you may need to increase your level of protection from a disposable to a re-usable mask, PAPR or SAR depending on how high the concentration levels are.

Once you have assessed all of the above, you should be able to determine the type of
respiratory protection you require.

Sperian Protection has available the Sperian Respiratory Contaminant Guide which helps
select the appropriate respiratory protection for a wide range of contaminants.

The guide allows you to select your contaminant from a comprehensive list to see the safe working levels and type of respirator recommended for protection.

It also includes in-depth educational information on various types of Sperian respirators, including how they work, how to choose the correct respirator, filter classifications, as well as fitting instructions.

Sperian Protection
Ph: 1300 139 166
www.sperian.com